Doris Ann Summers, local developer, dies

June 23, 1934 - Oct. 3, 2004

Apple Valley Estates and Ranches developer Doris Ann Summers died Sunday at her Sonora home after a short battle with cancer. She was 70.

She was born in Choctaw, Okla. Her family said she was a beautiful person who lived a life blessed beyond all expectations. She was the last of six children born to John and Minnie Winkle. Weighing only 2 pounds at birth, her initial survival was a miracle in itself, her family said. As a child, she and her parents headed to California and worked in fields.

She married Bobby Richard Summers in 1959 and they started a family. In 1965 they opened their first business together, Summers Carpet Cottage in Manteca. The business expanded to include another location.

After the Summers bought a summer cabin in Odd Fellows Park in 1965 they began to consider Tuolumne County more like home than a vacation spot, so they opened a flooring center near the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in 1971. The family moved into their one-bedroom cabin year-round. After several more moves over the next few years, the Summers purchased what was then known as the old Potato Ranch, her family said.

On Christmas Eve 1980, the couple and their children moved into a large custom home they had designed and built on the ranch with most of the wood coming from the ranch.

Development of the property continued and included planting apple orchards, which would later become the theme for the subdivisions now known as Apple Valley Estates and Apple Valley Ranches off Lyons-Balds Mountain Road. The communities were created when interest rates were at 18 percent, and many thought the Summers had stretched themselves too far this time, her family added.

In 1988, the Summers opened Apple Valley Realty in partnership with their daughter, Kebra Summers, and Greg Popovich. The name changed to Realty World-Apple Valley after Twain Harte Realtor Dave Stapp purchased Apple Valley Realty in Sonora.

Mrs. Summers extended her involvement beyond family, church and business and joined the Tuolumne General Hospital Foundation in 1995. She served as a director and was president for two years. Her family said the hospital and those who worked there became a passion she loved to talk of and get others excited about.

Another passion, traveling, was the hobby she enjoyed most. She often invited friends and family members to join her on trips all over the world.

Her family said she was deeply spiritual throughout her life. She was a member of Calvary Chapel in Sonora for the past 10 years, teaching Sunday school and hosting baptisms in the creek by her home several times.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Bob Summers; a brother, Wilburn Winkle of Idaho; her son, Kirk Summers of Sonora; her daughter and son-in-law, Kebra and Dave Stapp of Sonora; grandchildren, Phillip, Erik and Jack Summers, all of Sonora, Alex and Kyrsta Morehouse, both of Sonora, Keely Pfeiffer and her husband, Justin, of Sonora, Ian Stapp of Turlock and Tanner Stapp of Sanford, Fla.; and a great-granddaughter, Makenna Pfeiffer.

Donations can be made to the Tuolumne General Hospital Foundation, 101 Hospital Road, Sonora, CA 95370 or Calvary Chapel Sonora, P.O. Box 432, Soulsbyville, CA 95372.

Visitation is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. today at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home. A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at Sierra Bible Church.

Marie Louise (Thomas) Churchill

Aug. 9, 1916 - Oct. 3, 2004

Lifelong Tuolumne County resident Marie Louise (Thomas) Churchill died Sunday at a Sonora care home. She was 88.

She was born in Jamestown to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Thomas and grew up there. She was a third-generation Californian, with her great-grandparents having come to San Francisco from Paris in the 1850s. She attended Jamestown Elementary School and Sunday school classes at Jamestown Methodist Church. She graduated from Sonora High School in 1935.

In 1940, she married Stanley John Churchill at St. James' Episcopal Church in Sonora.

She was a past president and 20-year member of the Sonora Community Hospital auxiliary. She was a lifetime member of the Tuolumne County Order of Eastern Star and was a devoted and active member of the Sonora chapter until her health failed several years ago, her family added. She was a volunteer at the Sonora Lounge for senior citizens. She attended Unity Church of Sonora for many years.

She also worked for the Tuolumne County recorder for 16 years and worked as a secretary for Yosemite Title Company for 12 years.

Her family said she loved gardening, sewing and reading.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years and former mayor of the City of Sonora, Stanley J. Churchill; daughters, Carole L. Dacbert of Houston and Dr. Diane M. Churchill of New York, N.Y., and close friend, Justice Marcy L. Kahn of New York, N.Y.; and numerous friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Louis Thomas.

A funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Heuton Memorial Chapel.

Rose B. Cook

May 18, 1913 - Sept. 21, 2004

Longtime Calaveras County resident Rose B. Cook died Sept. 21 at a Riverbank care home. She was 91.

She was born in Los Angeles. She lived in Hathaway Pines for 15 years and most recently in Glencoe for 13 years. She was a homemaker and a member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, San Andreas Congregation.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Greg Burchard of Glencoe; a grandson, Marty Gzell; a granddaughter, Sheri Skiba; a stepgrandson, Justin Burchard; six great-grandchildren; and a stepgreat-grandchild.

A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah's Witnesses, San Andreas Congregation.

Angels Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

John Franco

May 30, 1920 - Oct. 1, 2004

Longtime Soulsbyville resident John Franco died Friday at a Manteca care home. He was 84.

He was born in Phoenix and had lived in Soulsbyville since 1977. He moved from Phoenix to San Diego in 1927 and later to Los Angeles. After high school in Los Angeles, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He also attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied mechanical drawing. He worked as a master machinist for 27 years for Donald-Douglas in Santa Monica, which later became McDonald-Douglas in Huntington Beach.

His hobbies included photography and carpentry, and he took jewelry classes at Columbia Junior College for several years.

Mr. Franco is survived by his wife of 53 years, Rosalie Franco of Soulsbyville; and a daughter, Linda Franco of Ventura County.

He was preceded in death by his son, Don Franco, on Oct. 4, 1965.

A graveside service is scheduled for 3 p.m. tomorrow at Mountain Shadow Cemetery.

Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, 1604 Ford Ave., Suite 8, Modesto, CA 95350.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Arnaldo Oliveira

Feb. 26, 1952 - Oct. 3, 2004

Arnaldo Oliveira of Angels Camp died Sunday at a Sonora hospital after a long illness. He was 52.

He was born in Azore Islands and lived in Angels Camp for five years. He worked as a handyman for 12 years and served in the Portuguese Army.

Mr. Oliveira is survived by his brother, Joaquim Oliveira of Stockton; sisters, Ana Paula Oliveira of Deerfield, Fla., and Maria Amalia Oliveira of Azore Islands; and his mother and stepfather, Balbina and Tony Lemas of Angels Camp.

He was preceded in death by his father, Guilherme Oliveira, in 1976.

A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at Angels Memorial Chapel.